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Together, we welcome and care for the poor, the stranger, the sojourner, the outcast. Together, we enable national and international graduate students to change the world. This October, our communion rail offering will be shared between Casa Marianella and World Communion Sunday.
Casa Marianella welcomes displaced immigrants and promotes self-sufficiency by providing shelter and support services here in Austin. In addition to shelter, Casa offers access to legal and medical resources, food, clothing, English classes, and other resources. First UMC of Austin was one of the founding congregations of Casa back in 1986. In 29 years, their population has evolved from survivors of the Salvadoran war to asylum seeking refugees and other immigrants from over 40 countries. Casa is the only homeless shelter in Austin dedicated solely to immigrants. 65% of the shelter residents, including children, are asylum seekers, many coming from immigration detention. Their vision is that all immigrants arriving in Austin will have safe housing and access to the services they need to be successful.
Around the globe, countless gifted and qualified youth and young adults face financial obstacles that hinder their preparation for their God-given vocations. For ethnic students who will be the first generation to attend college, or for people of color who haven’t historically had access to higher education, the road toward education has often been unwieldy. The World Communion Sunday offering helps provide scholarships through the United Methodist Church for national and international graduate students whom God has called to learn and to serve.
Gifts, marked “World Communion,” may be dropped in the offering plate anytime during October or mailed to or brought by the church office.
To learn more, visit http://www.umcgiving.org/ministry-articles/world-communion-sunday and http://www.casamarianella.org/.